LOS ANGELES – A Boy Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, etc., etc. He is also respectful of copyrights.
Boy Scouts in the Los Angeles area will now be able to earn an activity patch for learning about the evils of downloading pirated movies and music.
The patch shows a film reel, a music CD and the international copyright symbol, a "C" enclosed in a circle.
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The movie industry has developed the curriculum.
"Working with the Boy Scouts of Los Angeles, we have a real opportunity to educate a new generation about how movies are made, why they are valuable, and hopefully change attitudes about intellectual property theft," Dan Glickman, chairman of the Motion Picture Association of America, said in a statement Friday.
Scouts will be instructed in the basics of copyright law and learn how to identify five types of copyrighted works and three ways copyrighted materials may be stolen.
Scouts also must choose one activity from a list that includes visiting a movie studio to see how many people can be harmed by film piracy. They also can create public service announcements urging others not to steal movies or music.
Many of the Scouts in the Los Angeles area come from families whose members are somehow connected to the region's sprawling entertainment industry, said Victor Zuniga, a spokesman for the Los Angeles Area Council.
The program is being introduced to the 52,000 Scouts in the Los Angeles area, with plans to offer it to other California councils early next year. The program will reach Scouts ages 6 to 21.
Unlike a merit badge, an activity patch is not required to advance in the Scouts. Instead, they are awarded for various recreational and educational activities, such as conservation or volunteering at a food bank.